Mustaque Ahmed is a socially and politically conscious painter, who has been quite active in the Dhaka art scenario for a long time. Whenever the country plunges into a turmoil, he lends his hands to depict the situation intensely.
Shortly after the Covid-19 pandemic reached the country, the artist almost spontaneously took an initiative to create a series of paintings to reflect the increasingly wavering psychological temperament of people - their panic and anxiety - as well as, the overall perilous time. His in-depth observation about the current epidemic helped him explore the ins and outs of the situations.
In this phase of time, Mustaque has portrayed a number of human visages, each with a unique look, as the pensive and troubled expressions are different from one another. The backdrops of the paintings appear smooth and sometimes uneven for making the grounds, because of the affluent mingling of hues. In producing so many expressions from different perspectives, he has revealed his unequalled creativity. Beside these, the painter has also depicted some emerald-green-based scenic beauty in the mode of impressionism, where sometimes a melting moon peeps to utter hopes for better days.
Since the commencement of his career, as a sensible artist, Mustaque has been trying to convey his signature thinking process and language through art. His paintings have a genuine touch of aestheticism. However, it is very difficult to trace the exact silhouette of the artist's mind. But after a close perusal of Mustaque's paintings, one can be quite certain that he is both a figurative and a modernist artist. Azure, green, black and crimson are very noticeable in his paintings and the colours mingle well with one another. The colours create a distinct language and provide the spectators with some space for imagination and also optical illusions. It has also been observed that most of his colours look muted and quiet.
The arrangements of the characters in the paintings is also quite unquestionably unique and expressive. In his paintings, one feels the lament of a lonely soul, an underlying sorrow and an impression of desolation.
Mustaque is very thorough with his use of tiny ambiguous forms and the overall fundamental compositions. Sometimes black is the predominant shade in his works and the artist experimented with layers of the colour. His lines have created an aura where one can learn about his diligence, longing and devotion to art.
Mustaque scrupulously uses brush for his hallmark technique. The space feels open and large, clearly emphasising each moment and time. He applies the colours directly, and then meticulously polishes them according to their artistic requirements. His works are technique oriented as well and the acrylic based paintings clearly articulate his passionate mind. In the series, he has lost himself through a grief journey.
Mustaque loves nature and its varied mysterious aspects drive him to paint it. But the painter has been deeply ached by the pandemic. Currently, his nature-based paintings bear a pale outlook and sometimes he has used subdued colours for bringing a melancholic ambiance, which can be easily interpreted by our soul and mind. Besides the colours, the blending of light and shade creates a sense of silence and gloominess in his nature-based paintings. Nature is always intimately connected to his soul. Earlier, his canvas splendidly carried vibrant colours, where one could find peace, harmony and serenity. But the current epidemic has bluntly changed his thinking process and the colour application procedures.
It can be easily comprehended that Mustaque has made an attempt to control his application of colours so that they look simultaneously very permissive and restrained. His works now look more matured for his contemplation on the very roots of his subjects, as after all while Covid-19 is affecting the most robust of minds, the creative and the sensitive ones are by no means exceptions.
Mustaque is also an avid art collector. His art collections include contemporary Bangladeshi master painters, Indian master painters, Western contemporary artists and a number of promising Bangladeshi painters. He is also a filmmaker. His documentary "Die Million '71" received the International Bangla Film Critic Award 2011 in Kolkata. The documentary addresses the subject of genocide during the Liberation War of Bangladesh.
Mustaque has always been very interested in new ideas and contemporary culture and art have always been an important part of that. His collections also have various sections, there is a figurative and objective section, a landscape section, a section on the Liberation War, Language Movement, scenic beauty of the country, and an abstract or cutting edge section. He is open to new thought, which allows him to be interested in all avenues of creativity.
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